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Award Winners Celebrated at Annual Banquet

Licking County Soil & Water celebrated our community conservation efforts at the Annual Banquet on November 17th by announcing the Annual Award Winners for 2021.  Award winners are chosen for their dedication to conserve natural resources in Licking County in the following categories: Cooperator of the Year, Educator of the Year and Volunteer of the Year. Our community is fortunate to have dedicated individuals that tirelessly help us carry out the mission of caring for our land and teaching our next generation of conservation leaders! 

2021 Cooperator of the Year: Ed and Kathy Parrish

Ed and Kathy Parrish farm in Licking and Fairfield Counties, producing corn, beans and barley crops.  Both of them grew up in farming families and have been married and partners in farming for nearly 35 years. Over the years, Ed and Kathy have invested in conservation practices on the farm including spring development, no till drill equipment, waterways, and cover crops to be good stewards of the land. Ed & Kathy continually embrace conservation crop rotation as well as using the latest variable rate technology for herbicide application and nutrient management.  

Ed is a graduate of Ohio State University with a BS in Agriculture, Agronomy & Ag Econ.  He is an active member of the Professional Agrarians. He volunteers with water quality initiative groups as a member of Buckeye Lake for Tomorrow and former Director of South Licking Watershed Conservancy District. Kathy has been involved with 4-H all her life and has served as a director on the Licking County 4-H Committee. She also had her own Club Kith-n-Kin for a number of years. 

The Licking County Soil & Water has enjoyed working with Ed & Kathy, and are excited to continue working with him to conserve our natural resources here in Licking County.  

2021 Educator of the Year:  Nancy Taylor

Nancy Taylor is an educator at heart, she believes teaching the next generation to care about the environment is the key to conserving our natural resources. Nancy graduated from Butler University with a B.S. in Zoology and Environmental Studies and is the Chemist and Pretreatment Coordinator for Newark Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant.  

As a partner in Soil & Water’s programming, Nancy has participated in the summer Educator Workshop series, offers training to the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist program and coordinated creeking activities for the scout day camp.  You will find her at community events such as the Downtown Newark Association STEM on the Square and education events at The Works.  She provides mentorship and hands-on learning experiences for scout merit badges, science fair projects, career shadowing and bring your kids to work day.  

Nancy has been recognized by many organizations for her inspirational education of our youth to encourage them to do their part in conserving our natural resources. Licking Soil & Water appreciates all her hard work and we are proud to add Educator of the Year to her awards.    

2021 Volunteer of the Year: Jeff Bates, Ph.D., CHMM

As a dedicated volunteer, Jeff Bates has been involved with the Licking Soil & Water District since 2015. Jeff has served as an Associate Board member since 2016 and is a valued asset to the leadership that drives the success of our district. He regularly attends and participated in board meetings and serves on multiple committees.  

Jeff is a Professor and Program Coordinator of the Environmental Science, Safety & Health at Columbus State Community College, teaching geology as well as environmental health and safety courses.  As a teacher, he regularly helps at community events and provides soil education programs for elementary classes at local schools. Annually, he spends his time volunteering with us cleaning our waterways at the River Round Up, helping with the spring tree sale and provides programming at the Hartford Fair Natural Resources Area during the fair.  

As busy as Jeff is with work, other volunteer organizations and family, we appreciate the time he spends with Licking Soil & Water and hope to keep him around for years to come.